« PoprzedniaDalej »
2. On xxxi. 5–9. THE LORD ALONE Is THE sh ELTER of His own. 1) He will be such (ver. 5); 2) He must be such (ver. 9 b, His own interest demands this); 3) He alone can be such (ver. 8); 4) He will be such on one condition (ver. 6). 3. [On xxxi. 6, 7: A GENUINE REForMATION. 1) It is general: every one shall cast away his own idols and begin with them before trying to demolish those of other people, which there will be no need of when every man reforms himself. 2) It is thorough: for they shall part with their idolatry, their beloved sin, made more precious by the gold and silver devoted, to it. .. 3) It is on the right principle : a principle of piety and not of policy; because idolatry was a sin and not because it was profitless (“deeply revolted,” “sinfully made idols”). After M. HENRY, in toc —TR.]. 4. On xxxii. 1–8. As there are always poor people, so there must always be persons of power and superior rank. The latter must know that they are there for the sake of the people, as guardians of right, as protectors of the poor and weak, so to speak, as the eyes, ears and tongues of the commonwealth. But as in God's kingdom descent from Abraham counts for nothing any more, and true worship is no more that which is offered in Jerusalem, but that which is in spirit and in truth, so, too, the nobility of the flesh must yield precedence to nobility of the spirit. Not he that is noble according to the flesh, but a fool according to the spirit shall be called noble. Only he that has princely thoughts shall be called a prince; for truth reigns in the kingdom of God. 5. [On xxxii. 2. This may be given a spiritual application by a special reference to Christ, as eminently true of Him, the King of kings. This application is old and precious. Wind and tempest, rain and hail and burning heat are em
blems of the calamities of life, and especially of God's judgments on sin. Distress and impending judgment make men seek shelter. Christ is the only adequate hiding-place and covert. Let men run to Him with the eagerness of travellers in the burning desert taking refuge under a rock from the coming storm. The same rock-cliff often has a bountiful stream issuing just there where its cavernous recess affords the best shelter. While the traveller is safe from the tempest, he may rest and refresh himself from the distress he has endured. The rock “not only excludes the rays of the sun, but it has itself a refreshing coolness that is most grateful to a weary traveller.” –BARNEs. “Some observe here, that as the covert, and hiding-place, and the rock, do themselves receive the battering of the wind and storm, to save those from it that take shelter in them, so Christ bore the storm Himself to keep it off from us.”—M. HENRY. TR.]. 6. On xxxii. 9–11. When a land goes to ruin a great part of the blame of it rests on the women. For they are more easily prompted to evil, as they are to good. Where evil has once taken root, they are the ones that carry it to an extreme. “Und geht es zu des Bösen Haus, das Weib hat tausend Schritt voraus.” Therefore the punishment falls the hardest on them. As the weaker and more delicate, they suffer the most under the blows of misfortune. 7. On xxxii. 15 sqq. When once the Spirit of God is poured out on all flesh (Joel iii. 1) then the personal and impersonal creation will be glorified. Then Satan will be bound, and the LoRD alone will rule in men, and in nature. Then at last will it be beautiful on earth. For then right and righteousness will reign on earth, and peace, and that rest that is promised to the people of God (Heb. iv. 9).
CHAPTER XXXIII. 1. THE GLORIOUS TURNING POINT : THE WOE UPON ISRAEL BECOMES A
1 . WoR to thee that spoilest and thou wast not spoiled;
ously with thee.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
The season of preparation for withstanding the so the Prophet joins on to this primary theme Assyrian foe, that Israel has spent in so per- three declarations which, enlarging in extent verse a fashion, is past. The enemy is at hand and contents, state the particulars of the condi(comp. ver. 7). But now, too, is the time, when tion, the completion and consequence of that act God will fulfil His word that He would smite the of deliverance. This woe follows as a fifth those Assyrian (xxx. 18 sqq.; 31 sqq.; xxxi. 8 sq.). of xxviii. 1; xxix. 1; xxx. 1; xxxi. 1. But Now, therefore, the Prophet turns the woe against unlike the preceding, which are directed against Assyria. This power, hitherto unconquered, Israel, this is against Assyria (comp. x. 1, 5). will be overthrown (ver. 1). This is the princi- For, according to the contents of the chapter, pal thought of the chapter, which the Prophet none but Assyria can be the desolater. This anputs at the head ver, 1, as a theme. But as a nouncement of its destruction is opposed to that stone thrown into the water makes wave-lines audacious presumption that regarded itself as inthat extend in concentric circles wider and wider, vincible (x. 5–14).
2. THE PRAYER OF FAITH QUICKLY HEARD.
2 O Lord, be gracious unto us; "we have waited for thee:
Be thou their arm every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of trouble. 3 At the noise of the tumult the people "fled; At the lifting up of thyself the nations “were scattered. 4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar; As the running to and fro of the locusts shall he run upon them. 5 The LoRD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: He “hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the
stability of the times,
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
1. The first wave-circle ! In grand, rapid flight the Prophet's gaze hastens through three stages: he shows what must precede the overthrow of Assyria, then this itself, then its contrast in the remote future. For having by a prayer intimated that believing trust in Jehovah is the condition of salvation (ver. 2), he describes the immediately consequent overthrow of Assyria (vers. 3, 4). But on this present earthly salvation follows for the Prophet at once the Messianic future with its blessings, of which the deliverance from Assyria is a type. 2. O LORD––His treasure.—Vers. 2–6. This short prayer, that unexpectedly interrupts the prophecy, is assuredly not an involuntary sigh, but it occupies a place in the discourse chosen with deliberation. The Prophet intends two things by it. First he would present to the people what they must do on their part to obtain deliverance. They must believe and confide in the LoRD, according to the words “if ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established ” (vii. 9), and “he that believes will not yield” (xxviii. 16.). But as the Prophet gives, not a warning to pray merely, but an example of it, and himself intercedes, he gives on the one hand an example to men, and on the other hand a roof to God that there are still righteous men in srael (comp. Gen. xviii. 24 sqq.) that love the people and trust in God. A people from which issues such prayer is no dead heap of ashes. There is a glow in them that can be *śl. up again (xlii. 3). The prayer has the form of those in the Pss. (comp. xii.). The (suffix of the) third person in Dynt “their arm,” that occurs in such harsh dissonance with (the suffixes of) the first person preceding and following, is to be explained, it seems to me,
by the word of “arm” itself. The Prophet
means here those called to protect city and state
sq., the Lord effects that noise. He brings about a panic among them by letting them hear a tumult that has no actual existence (comp. Ps. liii. 5; Exod. xiv.24 sq.; xv. 16; Judg. iv.15; vii. 22; 1 Sam. vii. 10). The fleeing nations aré of course those of Assyria. The Lord arises (comp. ver, 10; xxx. 18; Ps. xxi. 14; xlvi. 11,
etc.), to smite the enemy. The expression is anthropomorphic, he, so to speak, raises himself high aloft. In ver, 4 the Prophet addresses the Assyrian. He sees the Israelites plundering his camp, gathering the spoil with a celerity like locusts clearing off a field. Seeing in this coming victory a type of the final, crowning triumph of Jehovah over the world-power, he contemplates this glory in ver. 5, chiefly from its inner side. He would intimate that the treasures, of salvation, that Israel will then acquire, will, because of a spiritual sort, be more glorious than the goods }. in the Assyrian camp (comp. ver. 23; xxxvii. 36, comp. 2 Kings vii.16). On adcount of this typical relation, the two periods are treated as a connected whole, without regard to their temporal disconnection. In this the Prophet does not contradict what he had said xxxii. 15 of the continuance of the desolation till the initiation of the great regeneration of the last time. For that period of the desolation falls precisely in the period that the Prophet over-leaps from the stand-point of his manner of regarding the matter. He thus sees the LoRD elevated on high and withdrawn from every hostile attack because enthroned on high. From this height the Lord fills Zion with right and righteousness, which plainly recalls xxxii. 15, 16. Likewise ver, 6 recalls xxxii. 17; the very beginning with mom coincides. But “the stability of thy times * corresponds to what in xxxii. 17 sq., is called “peace, assurance, sure dwelling, quiet resting place.” Thus we must give Tillos here the meaning “security,” a condition that guarantees peace, tranquility, confidence (ver. 16). When the times are such that there is no disturbance of the public welfare apprehended, then they have the quality of Tl2]ns, then one may spe of an D'Iny InjYox. But of course Tillo N occurs only here in this sense (comp. jo ver. 16). As in xxxii. 16 the security appears as the fruit of moral inworkings, so here also. Fulness of salvations, wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability, etc. As in the familiar declaration l'empire c’est la pair the copula has a tropical sense, so here there is the trope of the metonymy, since two things that actually stand related as cause and effect are, apparently, identified in expression. Thus the security of those times is the effect of the treasure, the wealth in treasures of salvation. It will not rest on subjective human possessions, as the women at ease (xxxii. 9) suppose, but upon objective, God-given treasures of salvation. The kind is declared in what follows, viz.: inward, spiritual goods: wisdom and knowledge (on these notions comp. xi. 2). “The fear of the LoRD” is named last, although it is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. i. 7). But it seems to me the Prophet would distinguish between Yis and lon. The fear of the Lond is the treasure-house (ox as e. g. Joel i. 17; 2 Chr. xi. 11, etc., - nyls, n°3 Jer, 1. 25, etc.), that hides that treasure in itself. Our passage recalls xi. 2 in many ways: also in this that, rightly counted, seven spiritual goods are named: 1) judgment, 2) righteousness, 3) security, 4) riches of salvations, § wisdom, 6) knowledge, 7) the fear of the LoBD.
The highways lie waste,
He hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities,
He regardeth no man.
the ransom, but spite of that ravaged the land (vers. 8-9). This is the overweening 72; spoken of in ver. 1. Then Jehovah declares that now He will arise against the enemy (ver. 10). He threatens them that their plan shall come to naught, yea that it shall turn to their own destruction (ver. 11), and that they shall burn up like limestone, yea like dry brushwood (ver. 12).
2. Behold their valiant ones — burned with fire.—vers. 7–12. By Pys and v22. the Prophet intends to express contrasts. Heroes raise a loud cry of lament; messengers of peace, that should bring and feel joy, weep. Almost all commentators agree that the Prophet means by these heroes and messengers of peace the ambassadors that Hezekiah sent to the Assyrian king to Lacish (2 Kings xviii. 14). They were to purchase the withdrawal of the Assyrians at the cost of subjection and a heavy ransom. Both were accepted. But after the prodigious sum of 300 talents in silver and 30 talents in gold was paid, the Assyrians still would not retire, but demanded beside the surrender of the capital. The ambassadors came back with this sad news, that was afterwards confirmed by the message of Rabshakeh, and with news of all the ruin that the Assyrians had wrought in the land. In verses 8, 9 they give information of the condition of the land as they had found it in consequence of these desolations. The roads lay desolate (comp. Judg. v. 20;) passengers along them had ceased (Ps. viii. 9; Isa. xxiii. 2; Lam. i. 12; ii. 15); there was no commerce over them. He, i. e., the king of Assyria had broken covenant, in that, spite of the ransom he had accepted, he still did not retire, but made further demands. He treated the cities lightly, that is, not he despised them, but he captured them by his snperior force that enabled him to make little account of their resistance. The words contain an intimation of the capture of the cities of Judah of which xxxvi. 1; 1 Kings xviii. 13; 2 Chr. xxxii. 1, speak. Moreover he does not regard
man; i. e., he sacrifices human life unsparingly (comp. ii. 22; xiii. 17). - To this point the discourse is prose. Now it becomes poetry. For ver, 9 the Prophet personifies things of nature. The general notion earth is specified by naming the particular parts distinguished by their vegetation. . First Lebanon, to the north of the Holy Land, is named. It is ashamed, withered. Sharon, rich in flowers, the plain between Caesarea and Joppa, has become iike a steppe (lxv. 10). The two fruitful, elevations east and west, Bashan and Carmel, especially noted for their forests (ii. 13) autumnlike shake off their leaves (lii. 2, comp. Exod. xiv. 27; Ps. cxxxvi. 15). The sad news of the embassy is at an end. It bows the hearts of the Israelites down deep, but for the Lord it is the signal that now has come the moment to intersere. But with Him the interference is bitter earnest. This appears in the three-membered sentence with its thrice repeated self summons, ver, 10. The LoRD announces to the Assyrians the vanity of their purpose, yea its ruin to themselves. “Ye shals conceive hay,” i.e., your lans shall be like hay; not fresh, full of life, |. utterly dry, without strength or sap; and hence when they come to the light they shall prove to be dry, dead stubble. That they shall prove their own destruction the Prophet expresses by saying: your puffing (comp: xlv. 4; xxx. 28) shall be a fire to devour you [(i.,31; ix. 17). This is characterized by a two-fold image (ver. 12). The first is burning lime. Water poured on lime causes it to sink away without flame (comp. Jer. xxxiv. 5; Deut. xxvii. 2, 4; Amos ii. 1). But thorns burn with a bright flame, a loud crackling and much smoke. It seems to me the Prophet would say that, in the overthrow of the Assyrians, many nations would disappear in the great conflagration unnoticed and leaving no trace, whereas the fall of others (he means, doubtless, the greater and better known) will make the world wonder at the grand spectacle they present.
4. THE ALARM OF SINNERS; THE COMFORT OF THE PIOUS. CIIAPTER XXXIII. 13–22.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
Fearfulness hath surprised the "hypocrites.
And shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
16 He shall dwell on *high :
His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks:
"Bread shall be given him ; His waters shall be sure.